Happy Tuesday!

So Fall is seeming a bit closer…the mornings have been a bit chilly and the heat of the day doesn’t seem to last as long each day. Though I can’t say it hasn’t been scorching hot over the last few weeks at times but it has also been really nice out on certain days. There was a bit of rain nearly half an inch in some places this last weekend in Nor Cal so that helped cool some water temps down but for the most part it is still summer…..

Lower Sac Striper 
Lower Sacramento Striper fishing…I have been exclusively striper fishing and guiding for stripers sense mid June. Fishing the last few weeks has been good. The smaller fish are not as prevalent which can lower numbers for the day but good numbers of keeper size fish and fish in the 5-10lb range are a regular on most days with the chance at true pig on most days. We have been fishing all depths of water from 12-15’ to 1-2’ so the ability to switch up lines and sink rates is key. More and more salmon are entering the river so the deeper water is not producing like it was during July but that is a good thing as the weeds and shallows are holding more fish allowing us to fish lighter lines and flies while sight fishing. That said longer and more accurate casts are a must in this type of fishing. Top water fishing can be good for those that can cast the big top water flies….5/0 pole dancers are not easy to chuck.

Lower Sac Top Water Striper!

T-Bone Fly .... Striper applications?
Great shot of the Tubbing and how to add bulk without weight
Flies…I have been mainly tying striper flies and messing with big but lite and easy to cast striper flies. Fly Men Fishing company has some really cool new products to build flies around this prinicipal. Blane Chocklett of “Game Changer” fame as well as a lot of the Musky/mid-west guys have been at the forefront of this idea as Musky require some BIG flies to get interested. Fly Men is selling Fish-Skull® Chocklett's Body Tubing™ a braided tubbing that Chocklett adabted to fly tying to create large bulky musky flies that are not heavy or stacked with material. The braid is like smaller finer version of the braid used on the Stick Jackets that everyone uses to store rigged rods. I have been messing with creating some big bulky top water and bait fish patterns. Even messing with some articulated flies like many of the Musky/Pike flies guys like Chocklett and Brad Boehen are tying in the mid west. I have always been skeptical of articulated flies with stripers as I am unsure that the joints used to attach on the shanks like the “Chocklett Big Game Articulated Shanks” by Fly Men will hold up if the hook is the last in line. I think the key is to have the hook infront … like the game changer but we will see. I am going to experiment with some fish this weekend and see what works or doesn’t.

New Gear….I have been fortunate enough to have a ton of new gear in my boat over the last month. Here is a quick run down.

Scott Meridian 8’10” 2 piece. This is the new Saltwater fishing rod from Scott that is replacing the S4S which is one of if not my all time favorite fly rod for striper fishing….so I was pretty bummed to hear they were going to be getting rid of one of my all time favorite rod lines BUT I trust head rod designer Jim Bartchi so I knew he wouldn’t get rid of a rod line unless he has created something truelly BETTER. Scott doesn’t just get rid of a rod line every 2 years to get sales like some rod companies. The rod is incredibly light weight and has tons of power but very similar to the Radian in that it has a ton of feel. At first the grip and rod took a bit to get use to but after one session of fishing I was loving it. It is different then the S4S but definatley better in all regards. The tip has more feel and the rod recovers very quickly after loading while casting a shooting head…a bit faster then the old S4S. The grip took me a while to get use to as it is a bit fatter up front but the more I cast it the more I like it. In the end I think and angler would have to do a lot of salt water or striper fishing to justity having a $865 salt rod. That said if you are a bass fishermen, striper fishermen, or guy that travels a lot to salt water fish it is the best on the market. It won best of show and best salt water rod at the AFFTA show this last summer which means is was voted the BEST new product of the entire fly fishing industry this year.

Echo Boost Saltwater 9’ 9wt 4pc is a great new fast action SUPER powerful salt water rod from Echo. Great Price point at $249.99 for anyone that is looking for a bass, salt, striper, carp, or heavy work rod that won’t break the bank but that will perform at a high level. I got the rod with a 10wt floating Air Flo Sniper line to throw the big 5/0 Pole Dancer…literally a big task. I fished it a bit last weekend and I think I need to upgrade to 10wt or 11wt rod with a matched line. I struggled throwing the the big 5/0 pole dancer but I put the 2/0 and some other more medium size top water bugs on it and it launched them. Of all the echo rods this definitely one of my favorite for stripers

Music… Been listening to a few new bands/artists. I bought the New Rocky Votolato CD Hospital Handshakes which is amazing…Just good rock with a bit of a indie/emo/acoustic theme going on – Boxcutters, Hospital Handshakes, Sawdust and Shavings are all great songs. The album kinda starts big and loud and upbeat and then softens up to some all acoustic songs at the end….You Blew It! A great band on Top Shelf Records. Some post hardcore/emo/Alternative leanings with multiple singers and such but good high energy loud soft dynamics music. They even did an ep where they covered 5 songs off of the Blue Album…they are pretty sweet if you like that sorta thing. ….. Moose Blood, great band from the UK and one that toured on the Warp Tour this year. They are on No Sleep Records and also in that post hardcore/emo/Alternative but they are from the UK which is pretty unusual for a band like that. Pretty catchy melodies and some good vocals.

Sports…hard to watch the giants right now. Getting swept by the dodgers and then Watching Vogie get blasted for 4 runs in the first the next night was BRUTAL, splitting in CO gave me some hope but then going 6-1 the first night in AZ was rough…I think injuries and lack of starting pitching is catching up with us and going to make it tough to compete down the stretch. Nothing to be upset about or get to down about being we have won 3 world series in the last 5 years and been in contention all season for the lead in the west. Bottom line who ever comes out of the west is going to struggle with the wild card teams, Pitt and Chi are legit ball clubs.

Notre Dame looked GREAT against Texas so that was a huge pick me up…not sure if Texas is that bad or ND that good. Big injury though in the loss of Folston for the season and Avery for 4-6 weeks with his broken foot…That said man did the O-Line look good! And do we have some weapons at the Wide receiver spot!

My good buddies Chuck Ragan, Tom Page, and Dave Barbiere are hosting a Yuba Clinic coming up on Oct 3 and 4th! should be a great clinic with a variety of perspectives on fishing the Lower Yuba. I know both days are filling so if you are interested jump on this as it is a great time of year to get tuned up, learn some new approaches, and get dialed in for fall and winter fishing. 

This coming Saturday is the Cast Hope Big Night Out in Chico, CA! Make sure to get your tickets and come out for some good food, beer, music, auction, and fun!

Hogan Brown